Published: Sun, June 24, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Canada Legalizes Marijuana For Recreational Use

Canada Legalizes Marijuana For Recreational Use

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has said the provinces will need two to three months after the bill is passed before they'll be ready to implement the new legalized cannabis regime.

The adoption in the Senate of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, means that a legal, multibillion-dollar industry is set to appear in Canada, which will join Uruguay as one of the few countries where cannabis is legal nationwide.

The Associated Press reports that Canadians will be legally allowed to purchase marijuana online and receive it through the mail, which is illegal in the USA even in states where recreational use is legal.

Uruguay became the first country to legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational use in December 2013 while nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia also allow recreational marijuana use. The current bill restricts marijuana production, possession and sale to those over the age of 18. But most provinces have raised the minimum age to 19, often in accordance with the legal drinking age.

"I urge all Canadians to continue to follow the existing law until the Cannabis Act comes into force", she said.

"And therefore we do not want to encourage in any way people to engage in that behaviour until the law is changed". While the federal government had previously estimated eight to 12 weeks would be needed between passage of the bill and legalization, Trudeau said that timeline was too aggressive.

Although Canada officially legalized recreational marijuana earlier this week, giving way to predictions that dispensaries would be selling marijuana by summer's end, Prime Minister Justine Trudeau says he is delaying the implementation of legal sales until mid-October in order to give provinces sufficient time to get their regulatory affairs in order.

The Canadian government said Wednesday it will soon announce the date when cannabis will become legal - but warned it will remain illegal until then. Currently, nine states and Washington D.C. have legalized cannabis for adults in some form in The United States, but marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

The "historic" decision, which already passed in the House of Commons, ends 90 years of prohibition and will likely impact Canada's criminal justice system.

A report by the Conference Board of Canada released on Tuesday showed that more than half of Canadian employers are concerned about the potential use of marijuana in the workplace.

Thirty US states allow marijuana for medical use.

Trudeau spoke to journalists on Wednesday, after the Senate permitted Canada to become the first country in the G7 to fully legalise cannabis.

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